ELMSFORD, N.Y. Elmsford is set to receive a $24.2 million grant this year to replace the two Sprain Brook Parkway bridges that cross over Route 119.
The current pair of bridges have been called two of the worst in the Hudson Valley and, according to Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams, talk of a replacement has been in the works for several years. Construction on the project will begin this year, approximately five and a half years before the initial planned start date.
"It will get the gateway to the village looking a lot nicer and we'll make sure it is done nicely," Williams said. "They promised us the world and we're going to hold them to that. The end result will be great."
The bridge replacement's $24.2 million is part of a $426 million investment in the Hudson Valley by the state. The money is part of a capital program that will create jobs and lessen the number of shoddy bridges in New York. According to the state, 32 percent of bridges in New York are deficient. The program was designed to reduce the number of aging bridges and replace those that are nearing their end.
Since the state accelerated the project by nearly six years, it is expecting to save approximately $3 million, roughly 10 percent, of the projected cost. The state said the savings will come from not having to institute a bridge repair treatment to maintain the two bridges until reparation in 2017 or 2018.
While the construction will be noisy, said Williams, the workers will spend money on food, gas and clothing, contributing to the village. Traffic will not be too bad, he said, as the initial plans show one lane being reconstructed before beginning on the other lane. When the state visited Elmsford to first survey the bridge around 2008, the state had promised to work with the village on the project to lessen whatever negative impacts might occur.
"The positive will outweigh the negative," Williams said. "With the jobs and things like that, stores will be impacted by getting more business. It's nice. That will definitely help."
The new bridges will be safer for residents travelling underneath the lanes, officials said. Williams said he remembers that concrete fell twice from the Sprain Brook Bridge onto Route 119.
"Obviously, as the bridges get older, they do start to deteriorate," Williams said. "God forbid there was somebody driving underneath at that time. With the inconvenience of the jackhammering and the noise, at the end of the day, the new bridge will be safer."
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